YORK theatre director Ben Prusiner is making a casting call for Yorkshire Scandals, an evening of two one-act plays based on Yorkshire news stories.

The first is the classical work A Yorkshire Tragedy, a rarely performed apocrypha play by William Shakespeare or Thomas Middleton; the second, a newly commissioned play by Script Yorkshire playwright Bill Hodson, entitled The Taskers' Trials.

"We're looking for a small cast of six who are skilled with both classical and modern text. Several actors will also operate puppets inspired by the classical Japanese tradition," says Prusiner, who has directed two York Shakespeare Project productions in the past year, King Lear last November and Henry VIII this spring.

An uncut text of A Yorkshire Tragedy may be read online at tech.org/~cleary/yorksh.html. The Taskers' Trials is the story of a contemporary Yorkshire family who are struggling to keep their heads above water, especially after their elder son ran over a young woman in an uninsured car, leaving her in a coma. Although Hodson's play deals with serious, and even tragic, matters, the story will be told in a lively style with a fair shot of comedy to provide a contrast to the storyline.

A Yorkshire Tragedy will be directed by the American Prusiner, artistic director of Re:Verse Theatre, and The Taskers' Trials will be in the hands of Andy Love, artistic director of fellow York company Wildgoose Theatre. The production will be staged in association with Script Yorkshire and will tour to the locations of Script Yorkshire branches in the first week of February after a premiere run at the Friargate Theatre, York, from January 25 to 28.

Rehearsals will begin on Sunday, November 19 and will be scheduled around actor availability for several week nights and one weekend rehearsal per week. All parts are unpaid; travel stipends or transport will be provided as needed for performance dates. Some partial travel stipends for rehearsals may be available on a case-by-case basis for participants coming from outside York. "The long-term goal is to develop Yorkshire Scandals into a future full-pay production," says Prusiner.

Auditions will be held at York Theatre Royal on the evenings of November 6 and 10, with recalls and additional time slots on the afternoon of November 11. Auditionees are asked to prepare two monologues, one classical and one modern; please email info@re-versetheatre.com to schedule a time and for more information on the roles available.